The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday declined to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the ban imposed by the Punjab government on screening of ‘MSG: The Messenger’, a film featuring Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The petition was filed by Gurpreet Singh of Mansa, challenging the ban terming it as “arbitrary and illegal”.
The high court division bench of justice SK Mittal and justice HS Sidhu did not accept the petition as PIL and it was “dismissed as withdrawn”, with the observation that if the makers of the film wanted to challenge the ban imposed by the state government, they could do so before the competent authority.
The Punjab government, through a notification of January 17, had banned the screening of the film in the state citing law and order issues. The film, initially slated for release worldwide in January, was released on February 13 in Haryana and Chandigarh among other states. Some Sikh groups had also moved the high court against screening of the film.